The Ladby Tapestry on and on

All winter, a group of 25 nimble-fingered, volunteer embroiderers from the local area have worked every Wednesday on the Ladby Tapestry. They will keep on doing this for a long time, on and on. 

The tale they are telling takes shape under their hands, following artist Gudrun Heltoft's exciting lines. In the middle section of the tapestry, the story of the old Viking ship found in the burial mound in 1934 is revealed. In the borders at the top and the bottom, there will be glimpses from Danish and global history. While the story of the old ship is being sewn, stories and drawings are being collected to tell the new ship's history. Museum guests are encouraged to tell about, and draw sketches of, things they think should be included. There are already stories from California, France, Lithuania and Denmark. Nothing is too big or too small. Everyone can join in. The stories will be drawn in Gudrun's hand and embroidered, either by the trained embroiderers, or by the guests who are welcome to return and take an embroidery class so they can sew the motifs themselves. Many people have declared an interest in learning to embroider, tapestry-style. 

Therefore it is natural for us to start an embroidery school this summer, where people can spend about 2 hours learning the Bayeux stitch, then try it out on a little bit of the "new ship" tapestry. Come out on a Wednesday and talk to the embroiderers about it.

The project to sew the history of the Ladby Ship as an embroidered tapestry began in August 2011. It will be completed sometime between 2015 and 2018. Inge Svensmark took the initiative to involve the Viking Museum at Ladby in a 14 m. long Viking embroidery, inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry from Normandy. Seven meters of the Ladby Tapestry tell about the old ship and seven more about the new ship under construction. With economic support from the Albani Fund, it was possible to buy materials like linen cloth and wool yarn from Bayeux, supplemented by local plant-dyed yarn. The project gives us a unique opportunity to teach about the history of the Ladby Ship, Viking history in Denmark and the rest of the world, and Viking handcrafts. Meeting the dedicated, volunteer embroiderers is a very inspiring museum experience.


If you want to learn more about the project, you are welcome to contact Inge Svensmark: or by cell phone: 27 12 20 86.



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